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A closer look at the big-name endorsements in Atlanta’s mayor race

Councilwomen Keisha Lance Bottoms and Mary Norwood are racing to lock up support before the Dec. 5 runoff for Atlanta mayor, and both have nabbed a string of high-profile supporters to help make their case.

Here’s a look at some of the more notable endorsements in the running battle between the two candidates.

The also-rans:

Six other credible contenders ran for the city’s top job, and most have already picked sides in the runoff. Council President Ceasar Mitchell and former Atlanta aide Peter Aman have already backed Norwood’s campaign, and ex-Fulton County Commission chair John Eaves is set to do so. Councilman Kwanza Hall supports Bottoms’ campaign. And the third-place finisher, former Council President Cathy Woolard, backed Norwood after holding a forum to help hash out her decision.

The city elders:

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has been a force unto himself in this race and one of Bottoms’ most vocal supporters – and a relentless critic of her detractors. Former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin shocked the city’s political establishment with her announcement she would back Norwood, giving the councilwoman an important ally to reach out to the African-American and black community. Two other former mayors have also split: Andrew Young, who earlier backed Mitchell, now sides with Bottoms. And the Buckhead Coalition, led by Sam Massell, picked Norwood.

The state and national figures:

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife, Chirlane McCray, issued a joint endorsement for Bottoms. And U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris of California also backed Bottoms. On the state level, Stacey Evans, a Democratic candidate for governor, and Jason Carter, the party’s 2014 nominee, both endorsed her campaign.

The celebrities:

Hip-hop star T.I. and his wife Tiny Harris are behind Bottoms. Ditto for Ludacris, Lil Yachty and Tyrese Gibson.

Staying on the sidelines:

Former Gov. Roy Barnes, who backed state Sen. Vincent Fort in the first round of the campaign, has yet to pick a side. And Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, another Fort backer, won’t be choosing a candidate in the runoff. Fort, too, said he won’t back either contender. Stacey Abrams, another Democratic gubernatorial hopeful, also seems likely to stay out of the race.

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.